At Altona Primary School we are constantly striving to provide all students with the fundamentals in English that promote lifelong learning and children’s success now and in the future. We have historically achieved excellent results in English and we are continually looking to improve our teaching and learning practice to ensure excellent results are maintained.
We pride ourselves on our ability to work collaboratively in teams to deliver an English program that caters for all students’ needs and interest whilst using current educational research to inform all of our decisions. We have a big emphasis on precision in regards to how we create alignment between the Victorian Curriculum, our English Scope and Sequence, unit planning and lesson delivery.
We have a consistent structure for the implementation of our English curriculum, guided by the Altona Primary School Instructional Model which is grounded on research relating to the Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR) and the High Impact Teaching Strategies (HITS).
READING AND VIEWING
We have a consistent approach for implementing our Reading lessons through the Reader’s Workshop model. Reading is taught daily and a typical Reading lesson begins with the whole class focus where the teacher unpacks the learning intention and success criteria so the students know what they are learning and why they are learning it. The teacher will then model the learning before guiding students to Independent Reading. Students then read independently and work on individual goals whilst the teacher conferences with students. The lesson concludes with a reflection in relation to the learning intention and success criteria.
We have a consistent approach for implementing our Writing lessons through the Writer’s Workshop model. Writing is taught daily and a typical Writing lesson begins with the whole class focus where the teacher unpacks the learning intention and success criteria so the students know what they are learning and why they are learning it. The teacher will then use Guided, Modelled or Shared Writing to ensure students are then able to complete Independent Writing. During Independent Writing, the teacher will conference with students to set writing goals. Mentor texts are also used as exemplars for students to model their own writing on. The lesson concludes with a reflection in relation to the learning intention and success criteria.
SPEAKING AND LISTENING
Speaking and Listening is integrated into all parts of our English program. Teachers develop students’ oral language, body language, voice and active listening skills through a variety of formats in both the Reader’s and Writer’s Workshops.
We have whole school Scope and Sequence which outlines Spelling expectations for Prep to Grade 6. Our approach to spelling is taught in collaboration with Reading and Writing but time is also set aside for teaching spelling in isolation when required. Our teachers’ focus on developing students’ letter, sound, visual and meaning/word structure knowledge, to improve their spelling capabilities.
Students are assessed in alignment with the Altona Primary School Scope and Sequence. Data is collected to inform planning and teaching but to also identify student growth and progression over time. A range of formative and summative assessments are used such as Running Records, Fountas and Pinnell Benchmarking, PROBE as well as anecdotal teacher notes through teacher conferencing. Moderating of both Reading and Writing also takes place to ensure consistency of judgments and progression within year levels and across the school.